Tour de France - Contador identifies Froome as main Tour rival

Team Saxo-Tinkoff rider Alberto Contador has said he considers Team Sky's Chris Froome as his main rival at this year's Tour de France.

Tour de France - Contador identifies Froome as main Tour rival

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Contador Froome

Contador, twice a winner of the famous race, believes this year's edition is shaping up to be one of the most competitive in its history.

And the Spaniard, who was stripped of his 2010 title after having been found guilty of a doping offence, sees Froome as the leader of a strong British contingent.

“There are several British riders who are competing at the highest level, both sprinters and riders for major tours," Contador said. "My main rival in this year's Tour de France will be Chris Froome.”

Froome had mirrored Contador's sentiments last week, saying El Pistolero "is the one that stands out to me as the biggest threat".

Yet on recent form, it appears Kenya-born Froome holds the advantage over his rival. He heads into the Tour, which starts on June 29, having just won the Critérium du Dauphiné to add to his victories at the Tour of Oman, the Critérium International and the Tour de Romandie so far this season.

The 28-year-old also managed to deliver a psychological blow to Contador during stage five of the Dauphiné, blasting the Vuelta a Espana title holder out of the water in a time trial on his way to assuming the leader's jersey.

Contador ended up finishing the race in 10th place on the general classification, but insists he was saving himself for the year's second Grand Tour.

“I’m happy because the sensations are very good regardless of the result," he said. "I've mostly been focusing on getting stronger and I'm very happy with my present form.

"I will be in top condition for the Tour de France.”

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